Former U.S. Army Major Eddie Pressley Sentenced to 12 years for corruption related to the Iraq war
The Department of Justice sentenced another former U.S. Army Officer yesterday, former U.S. Army Major Eddie Pressley. Once again they patted themselves on the back for showing America that corruption and criminal behavior will not be tolerated etc. They are standing sentry duty to protect our tax dollars blah, blah, blah. While I applaud their efforts to lance the festering boil of malfeasance in USG contracting, they have yet to scratch the surface of the problem. For every criminal they catch, they seem to be letting 100′s of real crooks sneak out the backdoor with truckloads of those supposedly sacred tax dollars, 30-60 millions worth, according to the Commission on Wartime Contracting’s final report.
I have to wonder if the DoJ will continue to prosecute a smattering of individuals for things like timesheet fraud. That’s right folks that little old trip to the PX, if undocumented, could get you arrested. Perhaps you should change your name to something like John Smith, Inc. or J. Q. Public, LLC, so the DoJ will know that you are not an arrest worthy petty criminal but you are in fact a legitimate business, indemnified by the DoD with a license to steal.
The DoJ needs to indict and prosecute the big players in the debacle we know as government contracting, as well as the individual law breakers & profiteers! Until the DoJ steps up to the plate there will be no justice! ~Forseti
Former Army Major Sentenced to Prison in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme Related to DoD Contracts in Support of Iraq War
To Date, 17 Individuals Have Pleaded Guilty or Been Convicted at Trial in Ongoing Corruption Investigation
WASHINGTON – Eddie Pressley, 41, a former U.S. Army contracting official, was sentenced in Birmingham, Ala., for his participation in a bribery and money laundering scheme related to bribes paid for contracts awarded in support of the Iraq war, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins sentenced Eddie Pressley late yesterday to 144 months in prison and ordered him to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term. The court said it would also require Pressley to forfeit $21 million as well as real estate and several automobiles.
“Mr. Pressley participated in a wide-ranging scheme to steer U.S. Army contracts to particular providers in exchange for personal, illegal profit,” said Assistant Attorney General Breuer. “Taking in nearly $3 million, he enlisted his wife to help him conceal the nature of his bribes and created phony paperwork to keep the scheme going. This sentence sends the message loud and clear that we will not tolerate corruption of any kind, and are determined to hold corrupt officials accountable.”
“This contracting scheme was driven by greed and is in no way representative of the vast majority of public officials and government contractors who work hard to serve our military,” said James McJunkin, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “The FBI will continue to investigate contracting fraud which deprives the U.S. government of taxpayer dollars, regardless of where it occurs.”
“I am pleased to see a perpetrator of criminal activity in Iraq justly sentenced,” said Stuart W. Bowen Jr., Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR). “This individual sought to enrich himself at the expense of U.S. taxpayers. SIGIR’s investigations team will continue to pursue criminals operating in Iraq and bring them to justice.”
“This sentence sends a clear message of deterrence to anyone contemplating such an egregious breach of public trust. It is not a matter of if you will be caught, but a matter of when,” said James K. Podolak, director of Army CID’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit (MPFU). “The outcome of this investigation is yet another testament to the teamwork among the special agents of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s MPFU and our fellow federal law enforcement agencies.”
“This sentencing represents the seriousness with which the government will pursue corruption among its ranks,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. “The Defense Criminal Investigative Service stands with our service members as they deploy throughout the world and will root out shameless bribery schemes such as this one perpetrated by Mr. Pressley. DCIS continues to work alongside our investigative partners at Army CID, SIGIR, FBI, IRS-CI, and Public Integrity to jointly bring these matters to justice.”
Eddie Pressley, and his wife Eurica Pressley, were found guilty at trial on March 1, 2011, of one count of bribery, one count of conspiracy to commit bribery, eight counts of honest services fraud, one count of money laundering conspiracy and 11 counts of engaging in monetary transactions with criminal proceeds. A sentencing date for Eurica Pressley has not yet been scheduled by the court.
The case against the Pressleys arose from a corruption probe focusing on Camp Arifjan, a U.S. military base in Kuwait. As a result of this investigation, 17 individuals, including the Pressleys, have pleaded guilty or been found guilty at trial for their roles in the scheme.
Evidence presented at trial showed that Eddie Pressley took various actions to benefit certain contractors who paid him bribes, including Terry Hall. Pressley served as a U.S. Army contracting official at Camp Arifjan between 2004 and 2005. From spring 2004 through fall 2007, Hall operated and had an interest in several companies, including Freedom Consulting and Catering Co. and Total Government Allegiance. In February 2005, Eddie Pressley arranged for Hall to obtain a blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to deliver goods and services to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and its components in Kuwait and elsewhere.
A BPA is a type of contract by which the DoD agrees to pay a contractor a specified price for a particular good or service. Based on a BPA, the DoD orders the supplies on an as-needed basis. The contractor is then obligated to deliver the supplies ordered at the price agreed upon in the BPA. The term for such an order by the DoD is a “call.”
According to Hall’s testimony and other evidence presented at trial, Pressley demanded a $50,000 bribe before he would issue bottled water calls to Hall. Hall testified that in April 2005, he and his associates arranged for Pressley to receive the money in a bank account established in the name of a shell company, EGP Business Solutions Inc.
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